The Lizzo allegations and fallout

Three of Lizzo’s former dancers have come ahead to stage some critical allegations in opposition to her. The “Fact Hurts” singer is dealing with a damning lawsuit that alleges sexual harassment, fat-shaming, and extra. Because the claims had been made public, a number of different folks have spoken out to allege that they had comparable experiences, and Lizzo has damaged her silence to deal with the scandal. 

What has Lizzo been accused of?

Three former dancers for Lizzo — Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis, and Noelle Rodriguez — sued the singer in Los Angeles, accusing her of sexual harassment and making a hostile work setting, per Deadline. The lawsuit names Lizzo, whose actual title is Melissa Jefferson, as a defendant, in addition to manufacturing firm Large Grrrl Large Touring, Inc. and dance captain Shirlene Quigley. Williams and Davis had been contestants on Lizzo’s actuality present “Watch Out for the Large Grrrls,” whereas Rodriguez was initially employed for Lizzo’s “Rumors” music video.

The dancers had been “uncovered to an overtly sexual ambiance that permeated their office” all through their employment, the go well with alleges. In a single incident after a 2023 present in Amsterdam, Lizzo allegedly invited the dancers to a strip membership, the place she “hounded her staff to have interaction with nude performers” and “catch dildos ejected from performers’ vaginas.” She allegedly pressured Davis to the touch a nude performer and “badgered” a safety guard “to get on the membership’s stage,” the place his pants had been pulled down. On one other event, Lizzo allegedly invited dancers out however failed to say they had been going to a nude cabaret bar. Moreover, Davis and Williams declare they had been “pressured to take part in a nude photoshoot” on “Watch Out for the Large Grrrls.” 

The plaintiffs additionally allege dance captain Shirlene Quigley “took each alternative to proselytize” about her non secular beliefs, “routinely” introduced up Davis’ virginity, and made folks uncomfortable with “sexually inappropriate habits,” together with by simulating oral intercourse on a banana and “sharing her masturbatory habits with the dance solid.” Dancers had been made uncomfortable by sexually inappropriate interactions with tour bus drivers, however “nothing was carried out” about this, the go well with goes on to allege. The administration at Large Grrrl Large Touring additionally “handled the Black members of the dance group in another way than different members,” the plaintiffs declare. 

What else? 

After accusing dancers of ingesting earlier than exhibits in April 2023, the lawsuit alleges Lizzo made them undergo an “excruciating re-audition” lasting virtually 12 hours, throughout which they weren’t allowed a break, and Davis “misplaced management of her bladder” however continued “dancing in dirty garments” as a result of she was afraid she could be fired if she left the stage. Lizzo and choreographer Tanisha Scott allegedly expressed “thinly veiled considerations about” Davis’ weight acquire, “which Lizzo had beforehand known as consideration to.” (Davis informed TMZ that Lizzo stated she was “apprehensive about” her when the one method she was noticeably totally different was that she gained weight, and Lizzo allegedly stated throughout a gathering, “You recognize, dancers get fired for gaining weight.”)  

In Might 2023, Lizzo allegedly turned “livid” and commenced “hurling expletives” after studying somebody recorded a gathering. After Davis admitted it was her — the go well with states she makes audio recordings to evaluate later as a result of she turns into “disoriented in worrying conditions” on account of a watch situation — Lizzo allegedly fired her. Williams, in the meantime, was fired “below the guise of ‘price range cuts,'” whereas Rodriguez resigned after objecting to how Lizzo dealt with the scenario with Davis, based on the lawsuit. After she did so, Lizzo allegedly “aggressively approached” Rodriguez whereas “cracking her knuckles” and “balling her fists,” so Rodriguez “feared that Lizzo meant to hit her and would have carried out so if one of many different dancers had not intervened.”

Has anybody else backed up the allegations?

Shortly after information of the lawsuit broke, dancer Courtney Hollinquest shared the allegations on Instagram, clarifying that she just isn’t a part of the go well with however saying “this was very a lot my expertise in my time there.” Hollinquest additionally applauded “the dancers who had the braveness to deliver this to mild.”

Lizzo’s former artistic director, Quinn Wilson, additionally shared the story on social media, writing that she hasn’t been a part of “that world for round three years, for a motive.” Wilson added, “I very a lot [applaud] the dancers’ braveness to deliver this to mild. And I grieve components of my very own expertise.” 

Director Sophia Nahli Allison moreover alleged on Instagram that she traveled with Lizzo in 2019 to be the director of a documentary for the singer however “walked away after about 2 weeks” after being “handled with such disrespect” by her. “I witnessed how smug, self-centered, and unkind she is,” Allison wrote, including that she was “not protected and was thrown right into a s–tty scenario with little help” and “felt gaslit.” Allison additionally stated that “studying these studies made me notice how harmful of a scenario it was,” and “this type of abuse of energy occurs far too usually.” 

In a follow-up submit on her Instagram story, Allison stated that since she spoke out, she has “had others privately share their very comparable experiences” and has additionally “been affirmed by individuals who witnessed what I went by.” She added, “Lizzo creates a particularly poisonous and hostile working setting and undermines the work, labor, and authority of different Black and brown womxn within the course of.” She can also be a “narcissistic bully and has constructed her model off of lies,” Allison claimed. 

In a live performance hours after the lawsuit was made public, Beyoncé appeared to omit Lizzo’s title throughout a efficiency of “Break My Soul (Queen’s Remix),” which followers noticed as a possible response to the claims. TMZ additionally resurfaced a video of Lizzo speaking about eager to go to a stay Amsterdam intercourse present in a 2019 radio interview, seemingly becoming with that declare within the go well with. 

How has Lizzo responded? 

In a press release on Thursday, Lizzo responded to the “false allegations,” calling them “as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.” 

She stated the claims had been being made by “former staff who’ve already publicly admitted that they had been informed their habits on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional,” persevering with that she is “very open with my sexuality and expressing myself” however “can not settle for or enable folks to make use of that openness to make me out to be one thing I’m not.” Lizzo additionally refuted the fat-shaming allegation. “I do know what it feels prefer to be physique shamed each day and would completely by no means criticize or terminate an worker due to their weight,” she stated.

“I am damage however I can’t let the nice work I’ve carried out on the earth be overshadowed by this,” Lizzo added. 

Dance captain Shirlene Quigley additionally posted an Instagram video telling followers that “God is so, so good.” Whereas she did not tackle any of the lawsuit’s claims, she added that she had “such an incredible time on tour.” 

The plaintiffs informed CNN this response was “extremely irritating,” whereas lawyer Neama Rahmani informed Deadline, “Given Lizzo is denying that any of this occurred, let’s take it to trial.”

For Lizzo followers, the allegations have hit laborious particularly given she is a celebrated advocate for physique positivity, elevating the query of whether or not her popularity can get well. “Every part that she stands for as an artist is an enormous motive as to why folks stand behind her as a lot as they do,” Williams informed CBS Information, including that she could not “sit with” the truth that Lizzo was “contradicting every part that she stands for behind the scenes.”